Founding Director Jason Bordoff testified on the US oil export ban before the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade in the House of Representatives. His conclusion is below and the full written testimony is available here (PDF).
Today’s oil market looks very different than it did in the 1970s when current crude oil export restrictions were first put in place. At that time, the United States had adopted domestic price controls to combat inflation, and crude export restrictions were necessary to make those price controls effective. While price controls have long since fallen away, crude export restrictions remain. While the magnitude and timing of the impact of easing the export restriction is uncertain, particularly given the recent oil price collapse, the direction is clear: allowing US oil exports will boost US oil supply and economic activity, along with resilience to supply disruptions, credibility in the trade realm, and geopolitical influence. While trade restrictions are not an appropriate or cost- effective way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, it is critical that more aggressive policy actions be taken to address climate change. The current statutory restrictions on oil exports are a legacy of a bygone era that doesn’t reflect today’s energy reality. On economic, security and geopolitical grounds, they should be lifted.